Routine maintenance can extend the life of your home's major components and prevent expensive and time-consuming repairs in the future.
Something as simple as sweeping debris off your roof once a year can help prevent moisture from building up. Moisture can break down your roofing material and cause an expensive leak. Or how about preventing your pipes from freezing by covering them inexpensively?
In this week's article, we give you 4 preventive home maintenance measures to help save you money:
AIR CONDITIONER MAINTENANCE
Clearing vegetation from around your air conditioner to prolong the life of the unit.One of the easiest ways to keep your coils clean is to keep the area around your air conditioning unit clean. Dirt, leaves, branches and anything else that happens to blow by the air conditioner can cause the coils to get dirty. Regular cleaning around the unit will go a long way towards keeping the coils clean. This is a great chore for a young teen to do, not a something critical, but if done regularly will prevent a lot of the buildup of dirt and debris on the coil. Also regular activity around the air conditioner will also prevent mice snakes and other pests from wanting to nest there. Here is a good article showing you how to do this: http://voices.yahoo.com/cleaning-air-conditioner-coils-5855896.html
PATCH CRACKS, COVER PIPES
Check vents in the attic for cracks and rips and patch them with foil tape to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and take the load off of your air handler. Seal gaps around pipes, recessed lighting, and ducts into the attic might help prevent future damming and lower your heating and cooling bills. Cover pipes with inexpensive insulation to prevent freezing in winter. Here are some instructions: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-insulate-pipes/index.html
CHECK YOUR ROOF
Roofs are the most vulnerable to water infiltration, given their exposure to the elements and the laws of gravity. On a sunny day, use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles, which are signs that the roof is near its end of life. Also check flashing around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys, and the rubber boots around vents for cracks.Check for loose roof shingles and secure them with roof cement.
Siding is also susceptible to leaks, especially where it meets windows and doors. A $5 tube of caulk might save you thousands of dollars in structural repairs. If you live in a cold climate, check the siding under the roof eaves for water stains, which could be a sign of ice damming.
WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE
What is sediment? Simply put, sediment is anything solid that has not dissolved in your water. This can be sand, grit, rust or mineral deposits. Most wells or city water companies are going to have at least some sediment which will eventually end up in your water heater. Once inside your water heater, the sediment sinks to the bottom of the water heater tank. Here the sediment can build up over a period years and eventually clog up the tank or take up so much room that there is hardly any room for the water to enter and be heated. This is why a water heater should be flushed regularly, to prevent the build-up of sediment.
You don't need to be a professional plumber to drain your hot water heater. It is a DIY task that anyone can do. There is however, one very important thing you need to know before you decide to drain your water heater; do you know how to re-light the pilot light? If you have never had to light the pilot light on your water heater, then have someone teach you how and then practice until you can do it. Otherwise, call a professional plumber to drain your water heater for you.
As long as you can re-light the pilot light on your hot water heater, you are ready to start the process of draining it. This article will detail all the steps needed for you to drain your hot water heater by yourself.